Home / resources / CSIS/Law School Talk: RITUALS OF LAW, PRACTICES OF BELIEF (Colin Dayan)


When May 16, 2013
from 12:00 PM to 02:00 PM
Where King Hall Room 2050
Contact Name
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BIO:  Colin Dayan is the Robert Penn Warren Professor in the Humanities at Vanderbilt University, where she teaches American Studies, comparative literature, and the religious and legal history of the Americas. She has written extensively on prison law and torture, Caribbean culture and literary history, as well as on Haitian poetics, Edgar Allan Poe, and the history of slavery. Prior to moving to Vanderbilt she taught at Princeton University, Yale University, the City University of New York, the University of Arizona, and the University of Pennsylvania.  She is the author of, among other books, The Story of Cruel and Unusual (2007), which focuses on the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment and traces the precedents for the torture of detainees in the “war on terror.” Her most recent book, The Law is a White Dog, How Legal Rituals Make and Unmake Persons was published by Princeton University Press in Spring 2011 and chosen by Choice as one of top-25 books for 2011.  Dayan has received an NEH fellowship (1986); a Guggenheim fellowship (2005) recognized her work on conditions of disfigured personhood and civil death that long outlive slavery itself. She has been a fellow at the Shelby Cullom Davis Center in the Department of History and a fellow in the Program in Law and Public Affairs, both at Princeton. Her memoirs of growing up in Atlanta, Georgia have been published in The Yale Review, Southwest Review, and The Arizona Quarterly. A contributor to the London Review of Books and Boston Review, she writes on contemporary legal practices and the logic of punishment in supermaxes, Abu Ghraib, and Guantánamo. In 2012 she was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

This event is sponsored by the Center of Science and Innovation Studies, the Department of English, and the Davis Humanities Institute.

Lunch will be provided.  Please email Nina-Marie Bell to rsvp nbell@ucdavis.edu and to request copies of the readings.

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